The Oval Gasholders

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The Oval Gasholders

The Oval Gasholders is the unofficial name given to the gas holder (gasometer) located near The Oval in London, England. It was built in 1853[1] and is officially called Kennington Holder Station by its owners, Southern Gas Network.[2] It is a grade II listed building with the listed part of them known as Gasholder No. 1.[3][4]


The gas holders were built in 1853 and overlook The Oval at the Vauxhall End of the ground.[5] They are considered part of the background of The Oval[6] despite being newer than The Oval, which was established in 1846.[7] During England cricket team matches advertising banners hang from the gas holders.[8] They are regularly referred to in Test Match Special broadcasts.[9]

In 2008 Surrey County Cricket Club, tenants of The Oval, announced plans to redevelop it along the side nearest the gas holders. However, their redevelopment plans were objected to by the Health and Safety Executive because of the proximity to the gas holders and amid fears that they might explode despite not cracking or leaking since construction.[10] This view was supported by London Fire Brigade, who listed the gas holders as a hazardous site.[2] As a result, Surrey considered buying the gas holders and decommissioning them.[11] The objection of the Health and Safety Executive was rejected by the Secretary of State and planning inspector.[12]


In 1999, plans were announced to dismantle all of the United Kingdom's gasholders due to being made largely redundant due to improvements in gas storage.[13] This was intended to include the Oval Gas Holders. Regeneration of these contaminated brownfield sites can help deliver London with much needed homes.[14] Berkeley Homes and Lambeth Council are working together cooperatively to prepare a Masterplan for an area surrounding the Oval Gas Holders. This is known as the Oval and Kennington Development Area (OAKDA). A preliminary consultation with the local community occurred in January and February 2015 to discover local aspirations. Draft Masterplan proposals will be released to a second consultation towards the end of the year where comments will be welcomed.[15] In March 2016, the Oval Gasholders were granted grade II listed status, which means there can be no demolition of them.[3]


  1. ^ "End of an innings: Time called on Oval landmark". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Community Risk Register" (PDF). London Fire Brigade. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Listed status for the Oval's Victorian gasholder". BBC News. 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Oval in pictures". BBC Sport. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Test Match Special 'Blowers' devastated The Oval cricket ground skyline is under threat". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Oval". Sky Sports. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Agency’s banner design hits the mark at the Oval!". The Phoenix Partners. Retrieved 17 March 2014. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Stumps drawn on oval icon". Sydney Morning Herald. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Oval held hostage by Health and Safety". ESPN. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Surrey are concerned enough". Daily Mail (archived at Highbeam). Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Secretary of State's decision on planning application at the Oval Cricket Ground: HSE statement". Health and Safety Executive. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Condemned: The great gasometer". BBC News. 28 January 1999. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Osborne, Hilary. "UK house-building crisis – and how to solve it". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-30. 
  15. ^ "OAKDA - Consultation - Oval and Kennington Development Area". Retrieved 2015-09-30. 

Coordinates: 51°29′06″N 0°06′50″W / 51.4851°N 0.1140°W / 51.4851; -0.1140